RWC organisers must learn from London 2012
August 2, 2012
England Rugby 2015 officials have been urged to take note of the national pride evident at London 2012 including that on-show following cyclist Bradley Wiggins gold medal triumph © Getty Images
Former England international Ben Kay has urged the organisers of the 2015 Rugby World Cup to tap into London's successful staging of the 2012 Olympics.
Writing in his exclusive ESPNscrum column, Kay has heaped praise on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and believes they have produced a template that can only benefit England's staging of rugby's showpiece event in a little over three years' time.
"I have been fortunate enough to go to a number of sporting events and I can't remember one as organised as well as this one - and as much fun," said the ESPN analyst. "It make you very proud to be British and hopefully it will serve as the perfect warm-up for when the Rugby World Cup returns here in a few years' time.
"It could be argued that the successful staging of the Olympics could cast a shadow across any future event but the World Cup organisers will have no doubt learnt so much. I am sure they will be mining the brains of those people who put it all together for LOCOG and there will probably also be a crossover of people who worked on the Olympics who will now move onto the World Cup."
England Rugby 2015 (ER2015), a subsidiary of the Rugby Football Union, is responsible for organising and delivering what is expected to be the biggest-ever Rugby World Cup, delivering a forecasted record boost to the global game, but Kay has warned that the action is just one part of puzzle.
"The Olympics has been phenomenally successful in so many ways. I went to the beach volleyball this week and was not only impressed by the action but the events around what is a superb temporary arena at Horse Guards Parade. I know ER2015 are already onto that and thinking about what they can do outside the stadiums that will generate the interest.
"Not everyone will be able to go to the games or want to but if you can generate the feeling around it and the national pride and party atmosphere then they are onto a winner - the rugby will look after itself."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor